It’s ‘Jawesome’: College Students Celebrate Shark Week

Aug 5, 2010 5:53pm

ABC News on Campus reporter Amy Rigby blogs: Turn on the TV, don your best shark costume and prepare your favorite ocean-inspired dishes — it’s Shark Week, and for college students, it’s another reason to party. “It’s kind of a strange week,” said 22-year-old Matt Kelly, a college graduate in San Diego who is hosting marine-themed events every day this week to celebrate Shark Week. “It’s made out kind of as a holiday.”  Shark Week is a week-long series of programming on the Discovery Channel dedicated to — you guessed it — sharks. Aug. 1 marked the start of the 23rd annual Shark Week. In Illinois, Northwestern University students Terri Shih and Claire Christenson (seen here) celebrated their first Shark Week with a costume party yesterday night at their apartment in Evanston. Shih, 21, dressed up as a shark and served snacks such as shark-shaped cookies and fish gummies.  “[Shark Week] kind of just seems like something that everyone already knows about and talks about,” Shih said. “Everyone’s Facebook statuses are about Shark Week.” After hearing all of her friends talk about the “epic” footage on Shark Week’s shows, Shih said, “It was kind of hard to not get really excited about it.” In New York, 19-year-old Crystal Blodgett, a student at the Continental School of Beauty in New York, will be hosting her third Shark Week party this Saturday at her home in Rochester. She will serve shark-related snacks, such as cupcakes topped with blue frosting and gummy sharks; “chum punch,” a red fruit punch made to look like fish chum; and cups of blue Jell-O with a gummy shark in it. Guests will play a version of Jeopardy that Blodgett created and dubbed “Jawpardy.” She expects the total cost of the party to be around $50. Other students spend a little more on their Shark Week celebrations. Miami University student Abby Pautz shelled out about $300 to throw her first Shark Week party in Ohio last Saturday. Many guests wore costumes and temporary shark tattoos. Some even decorated their cars. The menu included Swedish fish, shark fin cupcakes and Twinkies dipped in frosting and decorated to look like sharks. To top it all off, Pautz served a cake featuring a shark popping out with a Barbie doll in its jaws, a creation she and her friend spent hours making. But the shark frenzy doesn’t stop there. Pautz and her friends are ordering T-shirts that say “Shark Week is JAWESOME.” Blodgett said she’s noticed more of her college friends participating in the event this year: “I used to never see it on Facebook, but this year I saw like 20 people on my friends list were talking about Shark Week.” So why are college students so fascinated with a week of TV shows featuring sharks? “I think it’s something that is exciting and cool to watch,” Shih said. “It’s really fascinating. If I were to encounter a shark on a beach, I would probably freak out, but I just can’t stop watching it.” Blodgett said, “I think people just think it’s kind of a cool concept that Discovery Channel dedicates a whole week to this one animal.” Kelly pointed out that Shark Week’s timing is perfect for get-togethers. “It’s right at the end of summer before a lot of people are going back to school,” he said. “As people are coming back to school to get settled down for the next year, it’s a good end-of-summer, beginning-of-the-next-school-year type of time.”

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